Incarcerated hip-hop artist Bobby Shmurda has endorsed Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential bid.
The 21-year-old leader of the Brooklyn-based GS9 crew is the latest in a string of high-profile hip-hop artists to back the Democratic front-runner, including Snoop Dogg, Pharrell, and Eminem.
According to Shmurda, Clinton is the most suitable candidate to take over the Oval Office in November because of her “strong mind” and empathetic nature.
“I’m going for Hillary, man,” he told Vibe. “I like Hillary more because she’s into the people. You know they’ve said that women can’t run the country, but I feel like she’s more independent. She’s got a strong mind state.”
While the “Shmoney dance” rapper delivered a sterling review of Clinton’s campaign, he had a few choice words for GOP front-runner Donald Trump.
“Donald Trump’s an a*****e,” he said. “I don’t care, but he’s an a*****e. I definitely don’t want him as our president.”
Shmurda, whose real name is Ackquille Jean Pollard, is best known for his hit track “Hot N***a,” which peaked at number six on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2014.
Almost immediately after establishing early success within the industry, Shmurda was arrested by New York City Police. They allege Shmurda was the ring leader of a Crips gang that has been traced to 24 shootings and one murder since 2013. He has been behind bars since December 2014.
“These are bad people,” Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said of Shmurda and his associates in 2014. “They shouldn’t be celebrated and the fact their music is celebrated, and the so-called dance that they created, I would hope that those that emulate it would effectively understand what the source of it is.”
Although critics have argued the case against Shmurda is riddled with civil injustice, the young hip-hop artist has remained in prison as a result of the colossal $2 million bail hanging over his head. The charges against him include conspiracy, reckless endangerment, criminal possession of a weapon, and criminally using drug paraphernalia.
After spending a long stretch of time at Rikers Island, Shmurda was recently transferred to Rockland County Correctional Center, where he awaits trial on May 11.
Although Shmurda is currently subject to a 23-hour lockdown, the face of the controversial GS9 crew told Vibe that he’s kept himself busy by immersing himself in current events.
“A good friend told me before when I first got arrested ‘they can lock your body up but don’t let them lock your mind up’,” he said. “Ever since then, I’ve just been staying active. I’m writing. I’m reading. I’m doing everything.”
Shmurda’s backing of Clinton may not count for a whole lot at the Democratic National Convention this July, but it does add to Clinton’s reputation as hip-hop’s choice for the White House in 2016.
Clinton has long struggled to capture the support of millennial voters. At present, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders controls a double-digit lead over Clinton in the demographic, which has led scores of commentators to argue that the former New York Senator is out of touch.
Yet, artists like Waka Flocka Flame, Ja Rule, A$AP Rocky, and Young Jeezy have all come out to challenge that claim by expressing their support for the former Secretary of State.
“Hillary’s gonna win,” Pharrell declared to reporters at GQ. “I know what Hillary represents: She represents a woman in power, and she did great as the Secretary of State. She’s gonna win.”
Despite losing to upstart Sanders in Wisconsin on Tuesday, Clinton still commands a formidable lead in the race to be named this year’s Democratic Party candidate. She’s currently sitting at a grand total of 1,749 delegates. Sanders has laid claim to 1,061.
A minimum of 2,382 delegates will be needed in order to secure the nomination in July.
[Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Power 105.1]